Transcript for White House Pressed on Possible Shutdown Breakthrough
This is a special group. -- -- -- -- The level when I'm Devin Dwyer in New York with the CBC news digital special report we now than one week since the government has been shut down we began the week with the government shut down and no talks to attempt to fix that there's now a possible breakthrough. Both sides are talking we heard today from Republican senators after their meeting with President Obama at the White House calling it a good meeting. But nothing definitive now we're gonna hear for the first time from white house Press Secretary Jay Carney. Helen -- the president and the air disaster. Yes I can the president did. Call and speak with speaker of the house this afternoon not long ago. Had -- good conversation in the two of them agreed that. All sides need to keep talking on the issues here that are confronting us that have. Led to a shutdown of the government and to the situation has put us on the precipice of you potential default or at least reaching that line beyond which the United States government does not have borrowing authority so. You know the president believes that. In his meetings yesterday with house Republican leaders today with senate Republicans as well as of course was. House and senate Democrats that -- -- had they're having constructive talks and when it comes to the house Republicans in particular there is. An indication anyway a recognition that we need to. Remove default. It's a weapon. In budget negotiations. That the threat of default. Should not be used and certainly the fault itself is never an option. And the president appreciates the constructive nature of the conversation. And the proposal dead. House Republicans. Put forward he has some concerns with that and I'll simply say that without -- and I'm not gonna read out details of conversations with a phone calls. But -- our position the president's position that. You know we. The United States should not. And the American people cannot pay a ransom in exchange for congress doing its job remains. As true today as it as it has been throughout this period. How. -- States. That means -- hey -- talking about this proposal that. Looking. For firm also. And then exchange. Well yeah I don't think I'm not aware of multiple proposals I think that there has been a general discussion and -- not getting getting into details. Simply say it. The president has long believed. And has insisted that we cannot allow a situation where one party. In one house uses the threat of default try to extract concessions through budget negotiations. And it is his position it the right thing to do is to remove that gun from the table. Extend the debt ceiling. In a way -- ensures that we there is no suggestion or can't. Did default is an option. Because our economy can. -- -- -- that kind of approach to resolving our budget differences and you know proposal that puts. -- debt ceiling increase. And only six weeks tied to -- budget negotiations. Would put us right back where we are today. In just six weeks. On the verge. Thanksgiving and the obviously important. Shopping season leaving leading up to the holidays and and now we create you know enormous uncertainty for our economy the president. Speaking with small business. Owners. Heard from them that. -- continued threat of default into that season would be very damaging to them. And we can't we we don't think that's the right way to you know. A short term effects of staff that -- feet yes here's what we said but let's be clear about what his position has been and what -- said. It is the very least that congress could do. To pass the legislation that would raise the debt ceiling for a short term and passed legislation that would. Finally government. For a short term as the senate has already passed. And the president has believe this I think I've stated many times that we should raise a desolate for longer than that as the senate. Has proposed and will vote Johnson. Because we should not. Link. The threat of default to. Budget negotiations. He's very eager to engage in budget negotiations that's been something he's amply demonstrated all year long and is reflected in the budget proposal he made earlier this year. But we should not. Have a situation a dynamic. This led to where we are now that led to what we saw in the summer of 2011 and that would be recreated in six weeks if we had to once again. Go through a process where one party was trying to extract concessions in budget negotiations and return for lifting the debt -- Voters are -- -- there and there was a proposal that house Republicans he's in the White House when it yesterday. And bed. House Republicans say there with a new proposal that they presented to -- -- -- last night but also for the game. Reopening the government -- has received that proposal but not I don't disputing that I but -- -- -- -- you have. You're coming you're not exactly what was -- -- what. This president and speaker. Agreed on their phone conversation is that -- everybody's keep talking and the president appreciates the constructive approach. -- that we've been seeing and that is certainly change and a welcome change and he hosted an agreement can be reached. In relation to the proposal that has been discussed in -- press. It is our view that. We cannot have a situation where we that this in his extended. As part of the budget negotiation process. For only six weeks which would put us right back in the same position and now. And I think I know that this is not. Uncomplicated but. A clean debt ceiling increase for six weeks with no conditions attached to it is distinct from one that -- -- a budget negotiation. And the continued threat. Default as a point of leverage in budget negotiation which is just -- continually. Putting the American economy at risk. In an effort to achieve some partisan advantage which we can't furthermore when it comes to the various proposals have been discussed it certainly -- as it has always been. That there is no. Reason to keep the government shutdown. President wants to involve engage in constructive budget negotiations he has seen. Indications from Republicans in both the senate and the house in the last 24 hours that they too are interested in engaging in serious budget negotiations where we can. Achieve some of the goals that -- Put forward in his budget proposal. Buying down the sequester. Investing in in areas of our economy that will help it grow and protect the middle class. Continuing the work of reducing our deficit and addressing our long term debt. And he very much look forward to that but there's no reason to not open government. Right away -- his. You feel like here's a quote. Getting anywhere at all he saw. I think that this -- been constructive and that there's a recognition. At least among some Republicans. And Republican leaders that. Shut down is not good for the American people and it's not good for the American economy. Beds. The threat of default. He is damaging to the economy and the -- itself would be. Catastrophic -- damaging to the economy and the American people and it. And those made that acknowledgment and those realizations. Have helped create environment where. It at least looks like there's the possibility of making some progress here. The president's view is that we have to. Again remove these you know sort of demands for. Leverage using. Essentially the American people on the economy. In order to achieve what. One side is seeking through negotiations. And simply engage in the negotiations that -- don't punish the American people. Because we here in Washington have it. Different points of view about how we should and invest moving forward and -- -- way we know what mechanisms we can employ to further reduce our deficit so. Again the talks have been. And I think this is important because it is a marked difference from where we have the talks have been constructive and that president appreciates. The approach that the speaker and others taken. That's the biggest relations what time is the biggest. Debt ceiling extension. Again did that. The president has. A number of concerns. With the proposal the although there are other parts of the proposal that you know he thinks reflects. There is that we can unify constructive agreement and by we I mean not just the president and the speaker but. Any kind of budget deal would have to pass through both houses of congress and that means agreement. Among both Democrats and Republicans in both houses. The one issue that I mentioned just now is that tying the extension of the debt ceiling. For only six weeks to budget negotiations. Creates a dynamic. That is very similar to the one we're experiencing now under similar to the one that the country experienced back in 2011 and is in the president's position -- -- -- one that he. -- to this day that that's not the appropriate way to go and that we ought to remove. Congress Republicans ought to -- remove the threat of default. As a point of leverage in budget negotiations because they're only doing harm the American economy -- only doing harm the American people and you know the president cannot as he said. So many times pay ransom in exchange for congress doing its fundamental. The filling its fundamental responsibility which is to ensure that the United States doesn't fault that it pays its bills -- please fill senate Republicans this morning and we saw that center court and says it was predictable lecture. Well I think I -- some other senators Republican senators speak positively about the meeting and the president felt that that was also a constructive meeting. -- I'm not sure. About senator opponents' comments except to say that this is certainly senator -- expected the president to express his views on how we ought to move forward. I don't think Republican senators held back or Republican House members felt that when expressing you know they think we -- -- move forward the whole point is we need to have constructive. Negotiations about our budget choices. Not under a cloud that threatens to falter continued government shutdown. -- You mentioned the administration's concerns with the Republican proposal what is the White House putting on the table. What do you see as the most realistic proposal -- getting something done. It is our position it there is no. Acceptable. Reason to keep the government shut down -- all it does is does you know arm. Americans who -- out there trying to make ends may harm the economy. And -- and that the government ought to be reopened -- our position hasn't changed there and our position on the debt ceiling hasn't changed which is that. It ought to be removed by congress as -- -- tool or. Kargil. In budget negotiations because. In the precedent created in 2011 Republican says. Now for the second time. Used the threat of default. In -- attempt to extract concessions. That they could not extract through normal legislative means -- through. The election process so. That's unacceptable. Not and it's not personal it's not about this president it's unacceptable as a governing mechanism for this country moving forward because it would create a scenario where. Quarter after quarter. By annually or yearly we would have these manufactured crises and the crises alone whether there was default -- not. Do harm to our economy slow growth reduced job creation. Squeeze the middle class squeeze small businesses. And it's just not the way to do business and I think you're seeing. -- A number of lawmakers both in the senate and house who are Republicans a recognition that. That that's not the right approach to tape. When we have. -- sincerely held. Opinions about the kinds of decision we need to make. Move forward with our budget and dollar deficit reductions position hasn't changed on the shut down position hasn't changed -- the debt -- how is that negotiating. Had Jim -- the president -- constructive conversations with house and senate Republicans he's also -- -- In a very conversations with house and senate Democrats the his position that it's unacceptable to demand a ransom from the American people in return for not defaulting. It's not gonna change has not gonna change now sudden change in six weeks and it's not gonna change. At any point during his presidency. Nor does he expected any of his successors will take a different. Position. What has always been true is that this president is willing. To sit down and rolled his sleeves and work out -- common sense. Budget agreement with Republicans that. Embodies both. His objectives and Republican objectives in and in a compromise that a compromise that. -- not everything he wants and she's not everything that Republicans want but. Through a compromise achieves what the American people and the American economy. -- which is you're white black. Your -- for general usual. Guys want to turn this into. Game winners and losers and that. The the president made clear the other day this -- in a situation where that government shutdown. You know one party in congress is threatening to -- And some of that allowed us voices are encouraging -- fault nobody wins. Nobody else he wants a situation where we can. Discuss and debate our differences and reach. An agreement that reflects a willingness by both sides to compromise. In on behalf of the American people in the American economy believes it is possible he believes that. Although we're not there yet and there's not an agreement today it. There are indications in these last 24 hours. From Republicans. -- of a new willingness to explore that possibility. -- -- -- totally different subjects. As a Nobel laureate does the president think the Nobel Committee -- might not giving Nobel Peace Prize. Let me say first. There will be putting out a statement but I -- -- to say that President Obama congratulations. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons the OT CW. On being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize which reinforces the international community's commitment. To the international prohibition against use of chemical weapons. One of the president's highest priorities is to prevent the proliferation or use of weapons of mass destruction and this award honors those who make it their -- war. To advance this vital goal. Since its establishment sixteen years ago the OP CW has stood at the forefront of the international community's efforts. To verifiably eliminate some of the world's most dangerous weapons today's award recognizes that commitment and reinforces the trust and confidence. The world has placed in the -- PCW. In its Director General and and the courageous so PCW. Experts and inspectors. Taking on the unprecedented challenge. Right now of eliminating serious chemical weapons program. The US strongly supports the OP CW including its joint work with the United Nations. To ensure that serious chemical weapons stockpiles are placed under international control and ultimately destroyed. Today we again call on all nations to work to bring. To an end the conflict that has cost the lives of more than a 100000 Syrians and to support the UB ZW's efforts. And I hope that future generations can live. In a world free from the horrors of chemical weapons. In answer to your question. That young woman's. Parade courage. And efforts are remarkable and the president. Absolutely honors them as so many people around the world did they know me Lewis. -- presidency she's like most. You know president. -- I just noted that face the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and -- obviously thinks that there's an enormous amount -- Good work being done around the world. On behalf of peace and all of it should be recognized. So that the Republicans started this -- off by. To -- being pulled the funding. Or care act in exchange for the six weeks. -- whole long laundry list of Republican priorities. In exchange for reasons -- you. Is that your sense given where we are now -- Republicans. Have backed down. John I would just say as I mentioned before that it's. It's not really. How it should be viewed. You know that -- so win lose zero sum. Competition. Because. There are losers regardless in a process like this where. Government -- shut down. -- -- -- And the president wants that dynamic to change that his. He is made so very clear his willingness to negotiate and reach a compromise with the Republicans on. A longer term budget deal. But he doesn't. Think that it's appropriate to. Exact a price from the American people or to punish the American economy. In an effort to try to. Tip the balance of those discussions and negotiations. Five Republicans and he's been pretty firm about that he's encouraged by some of the developments that we've seen. And he agrees with speaker that we need to continue talking and hopes that we can reach resolution here that removes. The threat of default from the table. For a considerable duration. That's certainly the president's view. Allows the government to reopen as soon as possible put people back to work in and this situation where there are. Terrible consequences occurring every day that we all hear about -- and you report on. And then we can get about the business of hammering out a compromise -- If -- -- who will give each side. Something to be proud -- -- that point to and say you know we got that because. We thought it was so important and we were willing to work with the president and the Democrats. This is a Republican speaking. On on what you know they insist it was important and we reached a compromise and and if we can do that. You know on a longer term how long obviously depends on what those negotiations look like it would be good for the American people good for the economy virtually none of those original Republican restaurant tables are. Again when it comes to it. Threatening the full faith and credit of the United States no demand no matter how small is acceptable. You have to. Except the basic premise that using that as leverage is is. Highly. Damaging to the economy into the American middle class and you know I think that we again seen over the course of the last several days and and weeks developing recognition that this going down this path is not was not the right way to go and for all the reasons that it -- and lessons that we learned that. In 2011 and no one last thing the apologies to John. Q can you explain to me how it is that west wing we can still be -- -- is that really essential government services wells -- shut -- as part of China. I would be afraid of the office of -- and but in terms of what how. Don't know who these. You can weekly video webcast probably the OM BA but the -- the communications office obviously is significantly slimmed down as are so many offices here. But communications are part of what we need to do with the White House. Yet. Is it fair to say that conversation that was about. Not whether to -- -- but the direction. -- we've been listening to white house Press Secretary Jay Carney recapping the day after a flurry of activity at the white house on this Friday. President Obama meeting with Republicans today -- on the debt ceiling debate in the budget fight as the government shutdown is now in its eleven day we heard from. -- they are calling these talks constructive talks he also announced that President Obama spoke this afternoon just a few minutes ago with house speaker John Boehner. On that call President Obama apparently. Rejected the house Republican offer but the emphasis was on the fact that they agreed to keep talking. I want to bring in ABC's Shawna walls or political reporter Washington right now to talk about all this -- -- us. Some positive signs here definitely. Cautious optimism on all sides though. -- we actually getting anywhere here. -- it seems like and at one big sign -- after the president and speaker Boehner spoke today you saw that his staff. Didn't really put out a statement saying much which really indicates to us that there is some movement because if there they weren't getting anywhere they would be the -- Both sides would be telling the press that. But either side are not working on negotiating that that's a good sign that there is some movement of course she just as you said you heard Jay Carney -- that the conversations -- constructive so it does seem. Like it's going somewhere even if it is slow -- also. And where an eleven day now. These impacts are really starting to have -- affect whether it be you know workers are still -- paid workers that may not get paid and so. That's what you're still -- the closest we get the closer we get to that October 17 that debt ceiling deadline. It's -- more more serious is getting. And what's your take -- wanna dig a little bit deeper and what's your take you follow up politics very closely are marching -- and specifically the Tea Party movement house Republicans. And they essentially given in here and move toward the president by taking things like obamacare off the table. Well. -- I think there's a collective it. Acceptance now that. -- -- care is not going to be repealed freight now for your property your -- they want and although of course. The grass for the Tea Party -- they still want this they still want. They are they still want the government to be shut down they still want there congressman to keep fighting to keep the government shut down for this -- goal. But you see that there's really this acceptance. Between leadership but that's gonna happen so what can we get and I mean -- really big sign of this was two days ago at. In Paul Ryan's Wall Street Journal op Ed when you saw that he even mention about he spoke about tax -- he's about other ways to move the ball for -- And so all of the grassroots thing that he prettier they are giving anything -- White House Republicans and even -- -- -- they don't want and -- -- There is a growing acceptance that the government needs to be reopened and the debt ceiling needs to be race. And also some signs today from Republican sources to our various ABC news reporters. That the Wall Street Journal poll -- new poll out today it's and created some waves among Republicans -- -- mean that they're taking some significant heat here. 53%. Of people -- an apple blamed Republicans for that shut down only 31% blame President Obama. It's clear that that that particular polls having some impact right. Right and it seems that from our reporters that are getting this information from -- sources that this really is having impact and that on the bus right over the White House senate Republicans were even passing -- -- That the cold -- everybody thought including obviously had -- in that group but. You know it it does seem that this poll is really the republicans' worst fears coming true he CC that 53% of of the public are blaming Republicans for -- -- not is. Truly the -- no matter how much Republicans were out -- calling this -- democratic shut down. There are more Americans that believe it -- that know what exactly what did happen and that was that. That the debt ceiling and the -- we shut down because of this fight over obamacare which of course was -- by the Republican. And of course all of this should not take away from. The bigger picture here which is they're pretty devastating impact of the shutdown has had. So far on the American economy answering different communities you've been tracking a lot of those -- very closely. Give us the latest -- we heard at the beginning of -- stand -- at about 800000 federal workers would be furloughed European trickle down effect. We've also heard a number of those workers have been called back where we stand -- who's working who's not a. Who's getting paid and -- not. Right and and -- you're absolutely right this is what's getting lost and that that people are still suffering because the government -- shut down now for eleven days to what we do know is that between 30400000. People. Are still for let and yes -- 100000 people were initially for -- about half of those for Department of Defense civilian employees. And those -- those workers were called back ready and so we still believe it's around 300 -- 400000 are still for elect. And it's believed we don't know for sure of course that a lot of those workers will get retroactive pay of course -- doesn't help for bills right now expect. Especially the people are on the job at not getting paid but there's another segment of the population then. If there is -- -- -- will not get retroactive pay and that its contract workers. And those people that work for the the federal government through contracts they don't work directly for the federal -- they wouldn't be involved in this group. They're not part of a hundred -- -- and they're not part of the the group that congress could give were attractive teaching and so. These people are really going to be suffering because they still have these bills to pay and it they're not gonna get any -- up from. Some very personal stories indeed -- continue to track those through the weekend as this drags on but. Some positive signs will continue to watch it we really appreciate all your work ABC -- -- -- political Redmond Washington bureau thanks for being have a great weekend. -- for those of you thank you so much for watching you can continue to follow white house Press Secretary -- party's daily briefing at the White House. On line that continues to stream at abcnews.com. And for all the latest something on going to Washington continue to visit abcnews.com. Thank you very much for joining us. This has been an ABC news digital special report on Devin -- in New York.
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